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Distribution and concentration patterns of SLICE® in sediments at high, medium, and low energy aquaculture sites on the west coast



The aim of this research project is part of the broader-scope DFO objective of assessing the potential impact of commercial salmon fish farming on the health of the surrounding marine ecosystem. Specifically, this study looks at the effect of finfish farm sea lice treatments on non-target organisms. Current fish farming practices include the use of in-feed chemical treatments for controlling sea lice such as SLICE® , an in-feed treatment that includes emamectin benzoate (EB) as its active ingredient.

This study builds on previous research done in the Broughton Archipelago to assess the effects of SLICE® on Spot Prawns. Sediment samples have been collected close to aquaculture sites to determine the distribution and concentration patterns of SLICE® in the sediments (surface and sediment cores) under a wide range of oceanographic conditions: at high, medium and low energy aquaculture sites on the west coast. The biodegradation characteristics of SLICE® in marine sediments will also be examined to determine how long these chemicals may persist in the environment and at what concentrations.

The overall findings of these studies will increase our knowledge of the potential effects of SLICE® applications at marine cage finfish farm locations on the surrounding benthic environment. The measured environmental EB concentrations will be used to test, calibrate, and implement the DEPOMOD (modeling system) and other biophysical models to help predict the behaviour of EB in relevant aquatic ecosystems. These findings will be useful in forming regulations for the use of SLICE® in the aquaculture industry.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)


2012 - 2013


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Michael Ikonomou

Team Member(s)

Les Burridge

Kerra Hoyseth

Cory Dubetz, (DFO)

Collaborating Government Department(s)

Jon Chamberlain

Mike Foreman

Terri Sutherland (DFO)

Sharon DeDominicis (Marine Harvest Canada)

Frank Gobas (SFU)

Collaborative Partner(s)

BAMP - Broughton Archipelago Management Plan

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